The Department of Social Sciences, a combined program in the liberal arts, offers courses of study which challenge students to develop an understanding of the dynamics of individual and social behavior from a number of perspectives. The department offers programs in environmental earth science, geography, geology, history, international studies, political science, social sciences comprehensive, and sociology. Descriptions of these programs and courses are found below.
While the study of social sciences may also include criminal justice, economics, and psychology, these programs are listed under their own department headings.
The two disciplines of geography and geology are included in the Department of Social Sciences. Major and minor programs in geography are available for those wishing to teach geography or social studies in the secondary schools and for those seeking non-teaching jobs or wishing to do graduate study in geography. The department also offers a geology minor, designed primarily to provide reclamation and engineering students with a sound basis in geology essential for professional work, and a minor in Environmental Science for those who are preparing for a career working in nature.
Geography focuses on physical, economic, and social factors of the earth. It makes an attempt to observe, analyze and understand the spatial organization of these phenomena. The discipline deals with people and their settlements, cultural characteristics and economic activities, as well as with the natural factors of the environment such as landforms, climate, soils, vegetation, minerals, and environmental conditions.
The objective of a geography major is to prepare students with various cultural and natural environmental distributional patterns existing over the earth's surface. As the world is shrinking through the technological advances and transportation revolution, students should be able to adjust in the fast changing world. It will broaden their outlook about other regions and cultures and thereby make them better world citizens.
Graduates with a major in geography may be able to find jobs with federal agencies, county and municipal governments, cartography and engineering firms, insurance companies, oil companies, and planning agencies. Some graduates may pursue graduate studies in geography and others may opt to teach in schools.
All students intending to become licensed teachers must satisfy the requirements outlined in the section "Teacher Licensure" listed under School of Education.
Geography students will have a solid understanding of geographic principles. They will be prepared to understand, communicate, and use this knowledge in both theoretical and practical ways. Theoretical use is the ability to understand the framework of the discipline and synthesize ideas based on learned concepts, and practical is the ability to use the tools of the discipline, such as GIS, cartography, and other spatial-analytical skills. They also will be prepared to demonstrate the link between theoretical and preactical knowledge by conducting original research.
Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 within the major studies for graduation.
In addition to the bachelor of science requirements, students must complete nine supplemental credits in a foreign language.
Majors who wish certification as a teacher must also take GEOGRPHY 3120, Geography of Wisconsin.
Students who wish a broader exposure to the social sciences may want to consider the social sciences comprehensive major, which includes courses in history, political science, economics, sociology, and psychology as well as a minor in geography.
Students who plan to teach must fulfill professional requirements in the School of Education and must enroll in GEOGRPHY 3330 Environmental Conservation. HISTORY 1430 fulfills the cooperatives requirement for the State of Wisconsin teaching certificate.
A minor in Geology demonstrates the relationship between the earth sciences and other fields. It provides students in reclamation, biology, engineering, and other allied areas with a sound basis in geology essential for professional work. Practical field experience emphasizes biological evolution, geological history and environmental problems.
The Environmental Science minor is an interdisciplinary program designed to give students in the sciences, engineering, reclamation, agriculture, geography, industry, biology, sociology, political science, education, and others a broad background in the many aspects of the environment. The minor is designed to supplement students' careers so that they will be better equipped to function in today's society where the environment is of prime importance.
The Department of Social Sciences offers a major and minor in history. History is the systematic study of the past. History is the foundation discipline within the liberal arts. It is the source of the social sciences. Advancing understanding of the past helps us understand human nature, broadens our perspectives, refines our judgments and provides insight into contemporary issues. The study of history is basic to our personal uniqueness, our professional identity and our civic lives.
Students of history learn important skills. The study of history requires intellectual effort to develop reading, writing, analysis and logic. Students learn to do research; to assess arguments; to interpret economic, social, political, cultural and technological change in a variety of contexts.
History majors can find work in many fields. Some are directly related to the subject matter of history, such as museums and archive work, teaching, documentary film, or historical publishing. Others use the skills that the study of history cultivates. History is a liberal arts degree that provides the basis for work in business, advertising, journalism, public relations, public administration, planning, research and professional fields, such as law.
The History Program enables its majors to become broader in perspective, more literate, intellectually more astute, ethically more sensitive, and to participate wisely in society as competent professionals and knowledgeable citizens. Our students understand the complexity of the factors and forces that can cause historical change, and they are able to analyze and evaluate historical narratives that explain change. Students develop skills in reading, writing, analysis, and logic. History majors learn to do research, to assess arguments, to interpret economic, social, political, cultural and technological change in a variety of contexts.
Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 within the major studies for graduation
Choose three elective courses from the above lists.
History majors must demonstrate competence in writing. The writing exam is given during the junior year. See the department contact person for procedures.
History majors with at least a 3.75 GPA in history and 3.50 overall may be invited to complete an honors research paper. Students wishing to do honors research should consult with their advisors.
International studies is available as a comprehensive interdisciplinary major and a minor offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Education in the Department of Social Sciences. The international studies major focuses on the global perspective in education. Through a cross-national approach the major is designed to make visible and explicit the interdependence that has been created by economic, technological and communications development in the contemporary world.
Students in international studies must be self-directed and confident in their ability to plan their course work to match their anticipated professional goals. This major is designed to prepare students to work effectively in the increasingly complex world. The program offers considerable flexibility for students to develop areas of specialization. Students are able to draw upon the offerings of other departments at this university. It is recommended that all majors study a foreign language, and if possible, complete a minor in that language. Also study abroad programs are available and recommended for students in this major.
The International Studies major provides an understanding of transnational and intercultural relations through interdisciplinary work across departments in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. It includes curricular, experiential and skills components which enable students to engage in personal development, academic commitment, intercultural development in the form of understanding cultural values of different cultures, and career development.
The International Studies major has a core requirement of 15 credit hours. Students must choose between Track I or Track II. The list of International Education courses is found below:
A semester abroad is strongly recommended. Most classes taken abroad will count toward the International Studies Major.
Students who major in international studies must complete at least two years of a foreign language, and a foreign language minor is suggested.
The major requirements also include a written competency certification developed by the department. Please check at the department office for details.
A semester or year in a foreign study program, which is strongly recommended, is an ideal way to fulfill Parts Three and Four of the major.
International Studies majors are encouraged to give consideration to a semester or year abroad in one of our foreign study locations. A semester abroad is an ideal way to complete the third part of the major because a student actually lives in the geographical region of specialization and studies aspects of the culture. With the exception of the programs in Avignon and Puebla, the language of instruction is English. In all but these two programs, fluency in a foreign language is not a prerequisite to participation. All participants study the language of the country while they are living there. The combination of classroom work and everyday exposure to and use of the language results in a degree of fluency by the end of the semester or year abroad.
Our primary study abroad locations include London, England; Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, France; Heidelberg, Germany; Dublin and Limerick, Ireland; Lisbon, Portugal; Seville, Spain; and Puebla, Mexico. In addition, programs in China, Ecuador, Jamaica, Japan, Greece and Italy are available through consortial arrangements. Detailed information about each program is available from the Office of the Institute for Study Abroad programs located in Royce Hall, Room 111 (608-342-1726).
In our global scociety, employers increasingly expect graduates to possess an understanding of other nations and cultures. The International Studies minor provides students with the opportunity to study international topics from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students pursuing the monir in International Studies must be self-directed and able to plan course work to complement their major field of study. Students pursue 12 credits foreign language in one language and complete 12 credits from the list of courses fulfilling the "International Perspective" University Requirement.
The Department of Social Sciences offers a major and minor in Political Science. Political science is the study of governmental institutions and decision-making in the political arena. Political science focuses on political systems by looking at American institutions, public law, public administration, public policy, political theory, political behavior, comparative politics, and international relations. Political science is a discipline in the social sciences and part of the liberal arts approach to education.
Students in political science learn skills in writing and critical thinking. They are asked to learn to question, analyze and consider solutions to political problems. Research abilities are important for future individual and professional success.
Students seeking employment rather than graduate or professional (law) school should consider courses in administration and management. Those planning on graduate school should take political theory courses and research methods.
The Political Science Program enables its majors to prove substantially the understanding of themselves and the world. The department seeks to educate students to have knowledge and appreciation of politics, the development of political thought and governance, and the essential knowledge of their chosen fields. It attempts to enable students to live more meaningfully in the world according to their understanding of themselves and others. The department seeks to prepare its graduates for employment and/or advanced study, and to stimulate students in anticipating their future roles as professionals and citizens.
Political science majors must demonstrate a writing proficiency. Please see the department contact person for the requirements.
Note: some emphases are administered by departments other than the Department of Social Sciences. For simplicity, however, all emphases and their requirements are listed in this section.
The Social Sciences Comprehensive major includes course work in economics, geography, history, political science, sociology and psychology. A minor in economics, geography, history or psychology is required; this is considered the area of emphasis. Students who wish a broad liberal arts program will find it within the Social Sciences Comprehensive major.
Students who plan to teach will also find the Social Sciences Comprehensive major useful. (Additional information appears below.)
Our program provides majors with a broad grounding in the Social Sciences and the equivalent of a minor in History.
"Social sciences" is not a discipline, in itself, but combines many disciplines. Therefore it provides no unique skills and concepts seperate from those offered by Economics, History, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology.
In addition to the broad liberal arts education provided by eah of the component disciplines, the Scial Sciences Comprehensive Major with an Emphasis in History prepares social sciences instructors to teach in the public school system.
Goals and objectives specific to each discipline are assessed as part of the assessment of the individual disciplines. The unique goal of the Social Science Comprehensive Major with an Emphasis in History is to provide a broad knowledge of Social Science and History facts and concepts.
Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 within the major studies for graduation.
36 credits from the following list (30 are required, 6 are electives)
Social Sciences Comprehensive majors not in education must demonstrate competence in writing. The writing exam is given during the junior year. See the department contact person for procedures.
Students planning to teach may want to choose a Social Sciences minor.
Note: Geography 3330, Environmental Conservation is a DPI GER requirement for education majors, but it does not count toward the Social Sciences Minor.
Note: POLISCI 1230 Introduction to American Government is a DPI GER requirement for Education majors, but it does not count toward this Social Sciences minor.
Note: PSYCHLGY 3530 Adolescent Psychology can be taken to satisfy GER requirements for Education majors, but it does not count toward the Social Sciences minor.
Students who complete either the Social Sciences Comprehensive Major with an Emphasis in History or the History Major and the Social Sciences Comprehensive Minor, will be qualified to teach history at all grades and levels, all social studies courses through grade 10, and basic social studies courses in grades 11-12.
Students who earn a Social Sciences Comprehensive Major with an Emphasis in History or a History Major with a Social Sciences Comprehensive Minor can also be qualified to teach social science courses in grades 11-12 by completing one (or more) of the following sequences:
Sociology is the study of society and its component parts groups, cultures, norms, roles and their institutional and organizational relationships. Sociology is a discipline in the social sciences and part of the liberal arts approach to education. The Department of Social Sciences offers a minor in sociology which requires a minimum of 24 credits including no fewer than 12 credits at the 3000 level or above.
Students often minor in sociology if their majors are criminal justice or psychology. Both of these disciplines lead to employment in the criminal justice system, or the social welfare system.
Students of sociology learn important skills in reading, writing, analysis and logic. Students learn to do research and to interpret social, economic, political, cultural and technical change in a variety of contexts.
The sociology minor requires a minimum of 24 credits including no fewer than 12 credits at the 3000 level or above.